July 15, 2017

"Expansive, engaging, even at times ebullient...a loose, good-humored side of Mr. Trump" — described in the NYT today.

... in an article by Mark Landler and Maggie Haberman title "Dropping the Bluster, Trump Revives Banter With Reporters."
It was a loose, good-humored side of Mr. Trump that the public rarely sees amid the fusillade of angry speeches and venomous tweets that have characterized the president’s first six months in the White House. And it came to light only because he retroactively put the session on the record, asking a reporter the next morning why she had not quoted his remarks....

In some ways, Mr. Trump has reversed the usual dichotomy between the public and private president.

“One of the great differences between Trump and more successful politicians, like J.F.K. and F.D.R., is that they would vent their spleen in private, but in public, they would project a more humorous and civilized face,” said Robert Dallek, a presidential historian....
He's getting some great press from the NYT here. But maybe it's a trick. Loosen him up, get him on record. He'll speak freely and... well, what? What will be worse than what he already says in rallies and on Twitter? I don't know, but this made me laugh:
For reporters who covered Mr. Trump before he became president, there was a familiar discursive rhythm to his remarks.... They ranged from quirky boasts... They revealed a man getting a crash course in the world... but one who still sees things through a real estate prism.... And they showed someone who recognizes that his observations occasionally edge into the surreal. “As crazy as that sounds,” Mr. Trump said, after explaining why the border wall with Mexico needed to be transparent: to prevent drug dealers from throwing 60-pound sacks of drugs over it and hitting unsuspecting Americans on their heads.
I read that and wanted to tell Meade why Trump thinks the wall needs to be transparent and I was laughing so hard I could not say the word "heads."

IN THE COMMENTS: Bob Boyd points to this CNN article from a few months ago: "Drug-slinging catapult seized on US-Mexico border."

80 comments:

rhhardin said...

Yeabut Hitler loved his dog.

David Begley said...

A see through wall? Throw a 60 pound sack over a high wall?. In the middle of nowhere?

Now I am worried about Trump.

tcrosse said...

Throw a 60 pound sack over a high wall?.

Catapult.

BudBrown said...

I don't think they're throwing pounds over. They're kilos
when they get thrown and are pounds only after they land.

Laslo Spatula said...

This made me picture a man-to-man bucket fire line, only vertical.

Which made me think of "Chinese Fire Drill".

So I had to look THAT up,

From the Internet:

"In World War I, British soldiers came up with the phrase “Chinese Landing” to describe a clumsy or bad landing. It should be noted that this wasn’t originally meant to imply Chinese citizens couldn’t land a plane well or anything of the sort; rather, it came from the fact that, in a bad landing, the soldiers would often use the phrase “one wing low” to described this. When said quickly, this somewhat resembled the Chinese language in sound to the British soldiers, hence, “Chinese Landing”. This later evolved into describing any clumsy or inept landing. Eventually, this spread to other phrases where anything done clumsily or ineptly was called a “Chinese X” where X is whatever the act was.

This phrasing also came to mean anything done in a confused or disorganized way. The origins of this are thought to be from the stark contrast between British and Chinese cultures where the British viewed many things the Chinese did as confusing and hard to understand from their cultural perspective. Thus, around the time of World War I, any fire drill that was done in a disorganized or confused manner was called a “Chinese Fire Drill” by British soldiers.

In terms of the car game, where everyone jumps out of the car like the car is on fire when it is at a stop; then runs around chaotically; and then hops back in, it is unknown when and where exactly this game became common. The first documented reference to this game, with the name “Chinese Fire Drill”, is from the early 1970s. There are, however, accounts from people who lived as far back as the 1940s who say this game and with the name “Chinese Fire Drill” was around back then. It is thought from this, considering there have been no accounts of the game with that name being around before the 1940s, that the name was brought back to America by soldiers fighting in WWII, who picked it up from British soldiers and at some point it got assigned to the car game, which was probably already around at that point, but either lacked a name or was under a different name.

Needless to say, this phraseology typically doesn’t sit well with Chinese citizens for obvious reasons and, for political correctness sake, most of these “Chinese X” phrases have disappeared, though some are still somewhat common in Britain."

I am Laslo.

Laslo Spatula said...

The idea of "Chinese Fire Drill" could be an apt description of our Media right now.

Or -- better -- "Chinese Whispers":

"Chinese whispers—or telephone in the United States[1]—is an internationally popular children's game,[2] in which one person whispers a message to the ear of the next person through a line of people until the last player announces the message to the entire group. Although the objective is to pass around the message without it becoming garbled along the way, part of the enjoyment is that, regardless, this usually ends up happening. "

"As the game is popular among children worldwide, it is also known under various other names depending on locality, such as Russian scandal,[3] whisper down the lane, broken telephone, operator, grapevine, gossip, don't drink the milk, secret message, the messenger game, and pass the message among others.[1] In France, it is called telephone arabe" (arabic telephone)."

I particularly like "arabic telephone" for France. Their immigration policy, perhaps.

I am Laslo.

Snark said...

Superficial charm is often used vegas slot machine style by psychopaths. Unpredictable "rewards" to manipulate people, knock them a little off centre and make them a little malleable. Won't work on all journalists, but it will probably work on some.

Laslo Spatula said...

"Historians trace Westerners' use of the word Chinese to denote "confusion" and "incomprehensibility" to the earliest contacts between Europeans and Chinese people in the 17th century, and attribute it to Europeans' inability to understand China's culture and worldview.[4]"

Replace "Chinese" with "Middle America" and you have a description of today's Media.

I am Laslo.

tcrosse said...

At least nobody ever accused Hillary Clinton of Superficial Charm.

Snark said...

"At least nobody ever accused Hillary Clinton of Superficial Charm."

No. She certainly doesn't have very much of that.

Michael K said...

The game pf "Telephone" sounds like the Democrat/Media attempts to explain the Trump Russia connection.

Each successive version is goofier.

Only snark knows what " vegas slot machine style by psychopaths" means, for example.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

A transparent solar wall.

Bob Boyd said...

Drug-slinging catapult seized on US-Mexico border

http://www.cnn.com/2017/02/15/us/marijuana-catapult-trnd/index.html

Snark said...

"Only snark knows what " vegas slot machine style by psychopaths" means, for example."

I doubt that, but can clarify for you: the slot machine analogy is a reference to the well understood effect unpredictable rewards have on human psychology and behaviour. It's a key component in how many become compulsive gamblers, thus behaving irrationally and not in their own self interest.

dreams said...

"And they showed someone who recognizes that his observations occasionally edge into the surreal. “As crazy as that sounds,” Mr. Trump said, after explaining why the border wall with Mexico needed to be transparent: to prevent drug dealers from throwing 60-pound sacks of drugs over it and hitting unsuspecting Americans on their heads."

Obviously, Trump really cares about the people. It just comes out, it shows.

Ann Althouse said...

I remember the "Chinese Fire Drill" car game. Can't remember if I ever saw people doing it, but I may have. It was considered a way to have fun at a stop light... and do that thing of freaking out the straights.

As for "Chinese Whispers"... that's a game we played but always called "Telephone."

Now, we did have a game called "Chinese School." One kid was the teacher and the game would begin with the teacher saying "Chinese school has just begun, no more laughing, no more fun. If you laugh or show your teeth, you'll be punished for a week." The teacher would then try to make the other kids laugh and the first kid to laugh was the loser. Maybe losers were eliminated until there was a winner and the winner became the next teacher. I can't remember that much.

Fernandinande said...

Michael K said...
Only snark knows what " vegas slot machine style by psychopaths" means, for example.


It was pretty complicated, but I figgered out what it means!

The answer was cleverly hidden...in the next sentence!

'Unpredictable "rewards" to manipulate people, knock them a little off centre and make them a little malleable.'


60-pound sacks of drugs

60 pounds of drugs is worth about $1,200,000.

Birkel said...

Compulsive gambling? Like voting for GOPe and Democrats, we keep expecting a payout?

Pull the one armed bandit's leg one more time, big government supporting snarkmeister.

Laslo Spatula said...

"As for "Chinese Whispers"... that's a game we played but always called "Telephone.""

Sometimes the late-night comments here get like that.

Start with the blog topic, then..........

I am Laslo.

BDNYC said...

Trump is almost always using humor and staying loose, even when he's savaging his opponents. What are they talking about?

David Begley said...

Better and cheaper solution is to post signs on our side of the wall: Watch for falling containers of drugs.

Hagar said...

"Combination Chinese fire drill and Ferrari pit-stop."

Bob Boyd said...

"Better and cheaper solution is to post signs on our side of the wall: Watch for falling containers of drugs."

Also we could bring back "duck and cover" drills for school kids in border towns.

Laslo Spatula said...

"...and do that thing of freaking out the straights."

Hey man, I got a groovy idea. At the next stop lets all get out of that van and run around all crazy, then hop back in. But dig this: we all get in in different places! Far out! That'll freak out the straights!"

I am Laslo.

Cacimbo Cacimbo said...

"good-humored side of Mr. Trump that the public rarely sees"
The "public" sees Trump's humor all the time. The media choose to misinterpret it. Such as when Trump asked Russia for help finding Clinton's emails. I was rofl the media went into freakout.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

transparent: to prevent drug dealers from throwing 60-pound sacks of drugs over it and hitting unsuspecting Americans on their heads.

It's a joke people. The funniest part of what Trump does is to make a joking remark and then we get to laugh at all the humourless lefties having the vapors over an obvious joke.

Snark said...

"Compulsive gambling? Like voting for GOPe and Democrats, we keep expecting a payout?"

That is a separate question from whether it is rational to normalize Trump, and whether it is in the best interests of anyone or anything.

Fernandinande said...

Alert! Meany politician says something sensible! Alert!

“I have strong feelings about the role of children and what their role should be. I don’t believe that 9-year-old children should be giving public comment. I just don’t,” Spitzley said in a phone interview Wednesday.

Hagar said...
"Combination Chinese fire drill and Ferrari pit-stop."


Saw a video where they changed all four tires on an F1 car in 2.6 seconds.

No, wait there's more! 1.92 seconds

robother said...

The Saturday NYTimes is the one that its regulars don't read. Their reporters use it to report hard news (or even puff pieces) that contradict the Narrative, to maintain the Newspaper of Record illusion.

exhelodrvr1 said...

"Chinese Whispers" sounds like one of Lazlo's fantasies.

exhelodrvr1 said...

tcrosse,
"Throw a 60 pound sack over a high wall?.
Catapult."

They could also use Trojan Rabbits.

Michael K said...

"thus behaving irrationally and not in their own self interest."

Like voting for Trump.

Ah, I understand now. It's that old "false consciousness" again.

rhhardin said...

Wǒ de qìdiànchuán zhuāngmǎn le mànyú

My hovercraft is full of eels. (Chinese)

http://www.omniglot.com/language/phrases/hovercraft.htm

Luke Lea said...

Re: Laslo's "Chinese Fire Drill" -- anybody who knows much about 19th and 20 the Chinese behavior, at least until quite recently, knows that in matters of queuing up to get on a train, for instance, they have always behaved much as other 3rd world peoples do: an absolutely mad scramble to get on board before everyone else, through the windows, on top of the cars, whatever it takes.

mezzrow said...

I used to play Chinese checkers but then I lost my marbles.

Darrell said...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PCAD-yNB74k&feature=youtu.be

Trump takes on Game of Thrones.

traditionalguy said...

He got you thinking about the drugs crossing the border. And that is how DJT rolls. He inserts something wrong in the statement/description for the listeners to correct him on...and everybody spends days discussing the need for the wall to stop Drug Dealers.

That is what he does with his Terrible Tweets that punch the Media Party. They run the story for a week just because they can point out a meaningless error by the Clown-in-Chief.

Darrell said...

FDR got Amelia Earhart killed. Bastard.

tcrosse said...

Where I grew up a Pomegranate was called a Chinese Apple.

Hagar said...

Appelsin, "Chinese apple" = orange.

Hagar said...

House of Orange, princely dynasty that derived its name from the medieval principality of Orange, in old Provence in southern France. The dynasty was important in the history of the Netherlands and is that nation’s royal family.

rhhardin said...

A transparent wall would stop the mime traffic.

Bob Boyd said...

Chinese apple is when the worms all come out, crawl around the apple then go back into different holes.

Humperdink said...

"They're kilos when they get thrown and are pounds only after they land."

Very funny. OTOH, it appears the only Americans who have mastered the metric system are the drug dealers.

Hagar said...

The word orange derives from the Sanskrit word for "orange tree" (नारङ्ग nāraṅga), which is probably of Dravidian origin.[24] The Sanskrit word reached European languages through Persian نارنگ (nārang) and its Arabic derivative نارنج (nāranj).
The word entered Late Middle English in the fourteenth century via Old French orenge (in the phrase pomme d'orenge)

Mary Beth said...

David Begley said...

Better and cheaper solution is to post signs on our side of the wall: Watch for falling containers of drugs.

7/15/17, 9:02 AM


That's the way to guarantee you'll get crowds standing around by the wall.

tcrosse said...

It's likely that if anyone was going to Pass some drugs over the wall, he'd make sure there was a Wide Receiver on the other side to go for the Completion. He would not wish for an Interception.

Known Unknown said...

"and more successful politicians, like J.F.K. and F.D.R., is that they would vent their spleen in private"

I would argue Trump has been a very successful politician.

robother said...

A clear wall would also prevent Americans from being landed upon by Pole (or Mexican) vaulters.

Hagar said...

Pomme de Terre means "potato" in French (literally "ground apple"). It may refer to:
Pomme de Terre, Minnesota, a ghost town, US
Pomme de Terre Lake, in Missouri, US
Pomme de Terre River (Minnesota), US
Pomme de Terre River (Missouri), US
Pomme de Terre Township, Grant County, Minnesota, US

n.n said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
n.n said...

Or a deal has been struck, and the press has been mobilized to rehabilitate Trump's image.

Or they have changed strategies, and instead of seeking to destroy him, they will manipulate him (e.g. entrapment, not to resign, but to enact) to follow their lead.

Or the polling has shown an overwhelming shift in the prevailing winds, and the press is hemming, hawing, and hedging their bets until the next twilight.

Hagar said...

Kartoffel (German) = potato.

From older Tartuffel or Tartüffel, from Italian tartufolo (“truffle”), from Medieval Latin *territūberum or Latin terrae tuber.

The use as an ethnic nickname is due to the prominence of potatoes in German cuisine, particularly vis-à-vis the cuisines of the major immigrant communities in the country. (Compare the corresponding Spaghetti used to refer to Italians.)

Bruce Hayden said...

"I remember the "Chinese Fire Drill" car game. Can't remember if I ever saw people doing it, but I may have. It was considered a way to have fun at a stop light... and do that thing of freaking out the straights."

Ah. Fond memories: "Freaking out the straights". This is how I know that Ann and I are of the same generation (she is a couple months younger). We actually did some Chinese Fire Drills, on occasion, on the way to talk to Jack (at the Jack in the Box drivethrough, when it really did look like a Jack in the Box). Imagine, for a moment, talking to a Jack in the Box clown, ordering a Coke, and having it respond "Jack Cola" (which, I think, meant that they didn't have a contract with Coca Cola). Seriously weird.

hombre said...

The leftmedia thinks that Trump's insults directed toward them are offered in anger. An alternative perspective is that Trump is simply stating what he, and most of the rest of us, believe; that they are irresponsible liars utilizing fake news to accomplish political ends. No anger is required for that.

The future of the country may well depend on Trump's ability to handle the seditious, calumnious behavior of the lefties and their pet mediaswine with equanimity and perseverance. If he cannot, our immersion in the swamp will endure and that will be the end of our great nation.

Fabi said...

Let's not forget the delightful pamplemousse.

Birkel said...

Why are Leftists, like Snark above, so humorless? Is it the constant scolding that drains them of any humor? Is the the feeling of superiority that they assume without earning it? I'm genuinely curious why so many Leftists are without this basic human trait.

Any guesses? Surmises? Or even informed opinions?

Snark said...

Ha ha ha. Holy crap. I'm about the least humourless person I know. Trump's malignant narcissism is just not remotely funny.

Birkel said...

Some of us remember the funny comments you have made. But can you provide a link for those who might not remember?

rcocean said...

Why doesn't anyone mention that the NYT's reporter Halberman - or whatever the fuck her name is - was "teeing up" her news stories for Hillary? There was another one, from the WaPo that was running his stories past the DNC/Hillary, and getting their prior approval.

rcocean said...

Notice the ridiculous assumption of superiority, that the NYT and all these pundits have toward trump.

What is that based on?

Nothing. Could they run for POTUS? Of course not. What do they know? Nothing. Are they Billionaires? Nope - most of them can't even buy a pair of pants.

Yep, they and #Nevertrumpers act like Trump is beneath them.

Curious.

n.n said...

Yep, they and #Nevertrumpers act like Trump is beneath them.

Condescension is a significant characteristic of [class] diversitists, abortionists, and other women and men of progressive moral character. It is also a glaring character flaw in people who feel confident in conflating logical domains, ostensibly because they want to believe, but factually to marginalize and degrade competing interests.

That said, the acutely phobic response to Trump seems to have a personal, even intimate motivation. They well and truly hate him, despise him, a man of the working class who would presume to be their equal, and now, as president, their superior. Obama was one of their kind and a useful class of diversity. Trump is merely a white/orange guy who dares to walk among mortal gods.

Michael K said...

"I'm about the least humourless person I know."

Like all humorless scolds who say "I have a wonderful sense of humor!"

Unknown said...

Your senses of humor are odd and twisted and not normal at all. What Trump says isn't meant to be funny, he is serious, but you people are so desperate to make sense of his blatherings you imagine him to be joking. How pathetic is it that you need to twist yourselves into such pretzels to rationalize your support for him? You people are responsible for hoisting this travesty on the country, you'll be held responsible for what you e done for generations to come. The history books will try to explain how one half of a democratic country actually voted in a fraud and corrupt man who thought so little of his country that he became a useful idiot for a Russian dictator. The shame that this man and you people have brought upon this nation is something that the world already recognizes. The other half of the nation and the rest of the world would laugh at you jokers if it wouldn't be so sad that your mean spirited bigoted selves still don't see the error of your ways.

Bob said...

@Luke Lea,

An Indian coworker recently showed me a video of that sort of thing in India. It was incredible. All those people packed together jostling to get on the train home. As bad as the traffic can be here in Greater Los Angeles, it made me feel like I live in the Wide Open Space.

Bob said...

Hagar said, "Pomme de Terre means "potato" in French (literally "ground apple")."

I understand it's similar in Farsi (language of Iran). A potato is a "zib zamyni", an "apple of the earth."

Bob said...

Unknown said, "The history books will try to explain how one half of a democratic country actually voted in a fraud and corrupt man who thought so little of his country that he became a useful idiot for a Russian dictator."

That's being a bit hard on Obama, isn't it?

CWJ said...

"Ha ha ha. Holy crap. I'm about the least humourless person I know. Trump's malignant narcissism is just not remotely funny."

Then everyone you know must be a "leftist." I love this. The least humourless person ends their claim with "That's not funny!" A classic.

CWJ said...

Birkel,

Molly Ivins (mentioned yesterday) was actually very funny in a good humored way. I guess the exceptions really stand out. OTOH, I have trouble imagining just about any GOPe figure telling a good joke well.

Darrell said...

Molly Ivins was as funny as ass cancer after she went full libtard.

buwaya said...

nn, you are correct.

In these things there is always a reason, a purpose in mind by those who exert editorial control.

Recent events suggest something is moving in the mediasphere, what and why is as yet difficult to perceive. Foreign media has become less negative - and in some cases, such as France, these are also as centrally managed through cartels and establishment channels as the US MSM.

We all exist in the information-equivalent of the Soviet Union, trying to extract substance through analysis of crumbs of information and their context. There is also an extensive Samizdat, with few reporting resources and little access.

exhelodrvr1 said...

"The history books will try to explain how one half of a democratic country actually voted in a fraud and corrupt man who thought so little of his country that he became a useful idiot for a Russian dictator."

I'm not sure that that is really being fair to FDR. People back then didn't know how evil Stalin was.

Achilles said...

Snark said...
Ha ha ha. Holy crap. I'm about the least humourless person I know. Trump's malignant narcissism is just not remotely funny.

That was funny. Way to make light of yourself.

Achilles said...

Unknown said...
Your senses of humor are odd and twisted and not normal at all. What Trump says isn't meant to be funny, he is serious, but you people are so desperate to make sense of his blatherings you imagine him to be joking. How pathetic is it that you need to twist yourselves into such pretzels to rationalize your support for him? You people are responsible for hoisting this travesty on the country, you'll be held responsible for what you e done for generations to come. The history books will try to explain how one half of a democratic country actually voted in a fraud and corrupt man who thought so little of his country that he became a useful idiot for a Russian dictator. The shame that this man and you people have brought upon this nation is something that the world already recognizes. The other half of the nation and the rest of the world would laugh at you jokers if it wouldn't be so sad that your mean spirited bigoted selves still don't see the error of your ways.

Wow. If this isn't a parody it is a moby trying to make leftists look really dumb.

Michael K said...

"How pathetic is it that you need to twist yourselves into such pretzels to rationalize your support for him? "

The irony meter went off the scale with that.

Obama voters voted in a man with a very hazy past, nobody seemed to know him at Columbia. He was a dope head at Oxy.

He may have gotten consideration as a foreign student applicant at Harvard and his book promotion may have said he was from Kenya.

I've already linked to Obama's non-record as a state Senator.

I called Kelley last week and he recollected the private conversation as follows:

“He said, ‘Cliff, I’m gonna make me a U.S. Senator.'”

“Oh, you are? Who might that be?”

“Barack Obama.”

Jones appointed Obama sponsor of virtually every high-profile piece of legislation, angering many rank-and-file state legislators who had more seniority than Obama and had spent years championing the bills.


The Tribune and Axelrod got a judge to open sealed divorce and custody records on Jack Ryan, the GOP candidate.

The LA Times still has never revealed the contents of a tape of Obama's speech supporting Khalidi, a Muslim Brotherhood figure.

Hillary had a MB member whose parents were serious officials in it, as her personal representative and alter ego.

Let's see. Is that enough ?

How about Reverend Wright and Bill Ayres?

Is that enough irony for a lefty who hates Trump ?

Drago said...

The history books will try to explain how one half of a democratic country actually voted in a fraud and corrupt man who thought so little of his country that he became a useful idiot for a Russian dictator.

Lefty takes time out from 100 years of leftist "useful idiot" activities in support of communist dictators to falsely accuse Republican President, who is expanding US military might, increasing US energy production and delivering weapons systems to imperiled Russian neighbors, of being a useful idiot to a Russian President.

As noted time and again, being a leftist and/or "lifelong republican" REQUIRES the willingness to pretend that history started this morning and that any inconvenient facts prior to this morning be ignored.

The leftist techniques used to be more effective when the lefties had a stranglehold on the bulk of mass media.

That is no longer the case and it is clear that the lefties/"lifelong republicans" are none too happy about their loss of narrative monopoly.

It couldn't have happened to a "nicer" bunch.

LOL

Sebastian said...

"angry," "venomous," "venting spleen": to fauxly invoke faux surprise, who are these people? why do they say such things?

Anyway, Trump is having a good time, playing loose with the MSM, who are easily played--which doesn't stop them from grimly fighting the prog culture war.

rcocean said...

"Molly Ivins was as funny as ass cancer after she went full libtard."

She had one good line about George Bush thinking he'd hit a triple after being born on 3rd base.

Otherwise, she was your typical libtard who pretended to be some sort of down-home Texan, just like Garrison Keillor, pretends to be some sort of down-home guy from Small Town Minnesota.

All these people represent a "Type". Keillor, Ivins, or Letterman, all hate where they grew up, and couldn't wait to be one of the "Cool" people who lived in Manhattan or Beverly Hills, away from all the "hicks". But somewhere along the line they learn that pretending to be a what they really despise is they're ticket to fame and fortune.

The Godfather said...

How can you call JFK a "more successful" politician than Trump? They both were elected President, once. We remember Kennedy as a political giant because of his assassination, but in fact he went to Texas because he was worried about his reelection (and Texas had been crucial in 1960). If Oswald had become a Quaker instead of a Communist, who knows how we would remember Kennedy? As a one-term President ousted by Dick Nixon? Or if he had been reelected, as the man who both started and LOST the Viet Nam War?

And PLEASE don't use four-term FDR as a standard by which to judge Trump! He might just try to do it.

Martin said...

I don't know what to make of the reference to "more successful politicians." More successful than Trump makes no sense--ran for office one time, the top office there is, and won... that's batting 1.000 against Sandy Koufax. FDR lost when he ran for VP in 1920, so maybe he shouldn't be classified as "more successful?"

Or as with so much these days, maybe it's just stringing together words that sound kind of nice together but mean little--like any Tom Friedman column?